New Delhi, Aug 16: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced it during his Independence Day speech, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Rs 13,000 crore PM Vishwakarma scheme.
Under the scheme, artisans -- blacksmiths, cobblers, ironsmiths and fishermen among others -- engaged in 18 traditional trades, will be provided recognition through PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID cards.
Railway and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told mediapersons after the Cabinet meeting, that under the scheme, artisans will be skilled and trained as well as provided with new tools.
The scheme had been announced on Tuesday by the Prime Minister during his Independence Day speech, when he had said that during the forthcoming Vishwakarma Jayanti, the Vishwakarma scheme will be launched, which will benefit artisans, who mostly belong to the OBC category.
With Lok Sabha polls just seven months away and assembly elections in five states scheduled in December this year, the announcement of the scheme seems to be a part of a massive outreach to the OBC community by the Centre.
Under the scheme, credit support up to Rs 1 lakh (first tranche) and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche) with a concessional interest rate of 5 per cent will be provided to these artisans.
It will provide skill upgradation, toolkit incentive, as well as incentives for digital transactions and marketing support.
These artisans will be identified and registered at the village and gram panchayat levels, the minister said.
The scheme will assist skilling of workers by providing them with basic and advanced courses, the minister informed, adding that it will be in sync with other central schemes like Skill India. (IANS)